Jacqueline Chiu and Chase Johnson are MT Candidates who shared with me their first year experience in the P/J stream at Ryerson Community School. Turns out we have lots in common being at two different site-based schools!
1. What is it like being in a site-based cohort?
The Ryerson Community School cohort has a focus on social justice and collaborative activities within the school. Chase is pleasantly surprised how much an impact the social and eco justice theme has played a role in shaping his MT experience. Knowing the landscape of the age group teachers are immersed in, helped tremendously going into the first practicum. For P/J teacher candidates, it has been at least 10 years since they have been in an elementary school environment. The MT candidates feel like a member of the school and has formed connections with teachers and students.
2. In what ways are you integrated into the school?
Being in the school creates a feeling of wanting to getting involved and getting to know the staff and students in the school. Chase had a practicum placement in the school and Jacqueline is involved in the Environmental Leadership Team. All students at site-based cohorts are required to do a service learning piece, that involves interacting with the school and the community its in. Students at the Ryerson CS cohort not only observe classes prior to practicum but they also have the chance to teach a mini lesson in a Ryerson CS classroom which takes the nerves out of teaching for the first time at a new school.
3. Do you feel isolated from OISE? How do you meet other people?
Not really. The people in the cohort support each other since everyone takes the same courses together and the time spent on doing group work does not allow for a lot of intermingling with other cohorts. During practicum and social events, there are opportunities to meet other people.
4. What does your cohort do for fun together?
Potlucks for the cohort and teachers in the school!
5. Challenges people face?
Location. When OISE is so perfectly situated on the Subway Line, site-based cohorts may be tougher to access for students commuting from out of the city.